Karamo Brown experienced racism from a young age, even in his own household.
Brown is of Jamaican and Cuban descent. On the latest episode of “Red Table Talk: The Estefans”, the “Queer Eye” star opens up about the turmoil between his own roots.
“Growing up, I felt very embarrassed. Even today, to be honest, talking to the producers and talking to people every time they refer to me as Afro-Latino or Latino I get very uncomfortable. Still to this day,” Brown shares. “I don’t think they understood what they were doing, but it was this subliminal, unconscious, internalized racism that was in them.
“For me, playing outside as a kid was nerve wracking because my grandmother would say ‘Don’t go outside and don’t darken up my family’… so I would not go outside until after 5pm,” he adds. “I still get emotional right now because you think – I’m a kid and I should not have to be thinking about not going outside and playing because I don’t wanna get darker so that my grandmother doesn’t say a comment.”
Afro-Latina singer Amara La Negra expresses similar experiences in a scathing speech to the Latino community.
“I think in the Latino community we need to speak how things really are…” La Negra says. “I don’t like to generalize, but a lot of us are very hypocrite. And that’s just the truth, you know what I’m saying? There is racism…Would you want your daughter or son to marry a Black person? You know what I’m saying?
“Stop being hypocrites! And it’s the truth and if you’re racist, don’t pretend to like us and really not like us… I’ve heard it all, and they make sure that you know that you are the darkest one,” she expresses. “That’s why to me I’m so passionate about it and I don’t want to sugarcoat it. Being Black – it’s not being Black in America, it’s not being Black in Cuba, it’s not being Black in The Dominican Republic – it’s being Black in the world. Just see us as people.”